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Need to Know: Do the Giants play to win vs. the Redskins?

Need to Know: Do the Giants play to win vs. the Redskins?

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, December 28, four days before the Washington Redskins host the New York Giants.

Timeline

Today's schedule: Practice 10:45; Jay Gruden and Kirk Cousins press conferences, player availability after practice approx. 11:45

Days until: Giants @ Redskins, New Year’s Day 4; Wild card playoff round starts 10; Division playoff round start 17

Injuries of note:
S Whitner (quad), C Long (ankle), CB Dunbar (concussion), TE Reed (shoulder), WR Jackson (jaw), RB Kelley (knee), LB Cravens (upper arm)
Latest injury report

First look at Redskins vs. Giants

Do they play to win the game? Ben McAdoo will say the Giants are going to play to win. So will all of the players. But that may not necessarily be the case. How long does Eli Manning play? And the offensive line has been banged up a lot this year. If McAdoo wants to rest some O-linemen will he keep Eli in? Will the score determine if/when he starts sending backups? There will be some talk but we won’t really know until the game starts unfolding on Sunday.

Eli takes a step back: One of the reasons why the Giants hired McAdoo to be their coach is that Manning’s experienced a career revival when McAdoo came in as Tom Coughlin’s offensive coordinator in 2014. Eli’s numbers aren’t back to where they were pre-McAdoo but compared to last year he is down in touchdowns, yards per attempt, and passer rating and up in interceptions. Hmmm, maybe the Redskins are hoping that he does play the whole game.

Norman vs. Beckham 3: I’m not sure how big a deal Norman vs. Beckham is going to be this time around. There weren’t much fireworks during the Week 3 game in the Meadowlands and, of course, the Redskins have far more important things on their minds than any sort of individual matchup. Also, if McAdoo senses that Beckham is getting rattled he can sit him out for a series or two or just give him the rest of the day off. The matchup will get some play but there are far more important matters at hand.

Leaders: Passing, Manning 3,847 yards; Rushing, Rashad Jennings 541 yards; Receiving Beckham 96 rec., 1323 yds., 10 TD; Interceptions, Landon Collins 5; Sacks Olivier Vernon 8.5

Three and out: The Giants defense is the polar opposite of the Redskins D in one important aspect—they are first in the NFL in both red zone defense and goal to go defense . . . The time to get to the Giants is early. They have been outscored 88-51 in the first quarter but they have an scoring edge in the other three periods . . . In addition to throwing 16 interceptions Manning has lost four fumbles.

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Two examples of why Dan Orlovsky believes Dwayne Haskins will excite Redskins fans

Two examples of why Dan Orlovsky believes Dwayne Haskins will excite Redskins fans

Scott Turner was asked about quarterback Dwayne Haskins' growth this offseason during a Zoom call with local media earlier this week, and the new Redskins offensive coordinator explained he was pleased with both Haskins' physical and mental progress.

Besides raving about the second-year quarterbacks imposing size and natural arm strength, Turner also dove into specific detail about one other thing that really stood out to him about Haskins: his ability to stand tall in the pocket and deliver a throw without much space.

Former NFL quarterback and ESPN analyst Dan Orlovsky took to Twitter on Friday, tweeting out two video examples from Haskins' rookie season where the quarterback demonstrated the qualities Turner raved about.

The first example was a clip from the Redskins Week 11 contest against the Jets. The play went down in the scorebook as a 24-yard completion to Kelvin Harmon, but what the quarterback had to do in order to make this play successful was quite impressive.

For this play, Orlovsky explained how Haskins identified where the pressure was coming from pre-snap, causing him to shift the entire protection to the left. After the running back missed his block, Haskins didn't panic. The then-rookie QB stepped up in the pocket and fired a dart to Harmon on the in-route as the receiver broke open in the middle of the field.

"This is one of my favorite plays by him last year," Orlovsky explained. "It really is an example of the intellectual aspect of quarterback play with the feel aspect of quarterback play."

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The second clip was from Washington's clash in Green Bay last season. On this particular snap, Haskins showed his mastery of the Packers' defense.

Haskins' initial read was to the right side, where Harmon was running an inside post route. But once the quarterback saw his first read was covered, he continued to look right, forcing Packers' safety Darnell Savage to slide in that direction. The passer then immediately turned to his backside, which created an open throwing lane to find Terry McLaurin in the middle of the field.

"It really shows a complete understanding of what the defense is, what the coverage is, and then a complete understanding of who on the defense he needs to move with his eyes to open up a window," Orlovsky said.

It's fair to mention that the Redskins would not win either of these games and that the rookie passer had his struggles in each of these contests. It's no secret that Haskins had his growing pains as a rookie, and there were examples of such in each of these matchups, too.

But Haskins did finish the season playing the best football of his young career, giving some hope for the future. Count Orlovsky in on those who are optimistic about the quarterback as he enters his second season with the team and his first as the team's true starter.

"There are so many examples on his tape that show how smart he actually is," Orlovsky said. 

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Kirk Cousins ranked ninth on Forbes' top 100 highest-paid athletes in 2020

Kirk Cousins ranked ninth on Forbes' top 100 highest-paid athletes in 2020

Former Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins is among the top 10 highest-paid athletes in the world in 2020, according to Forbes.

Cousins, who came in as the ninth highest-paid athlete overall, is the top-ranked NFL athlete on the list, coming in one spot above Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz.

Forbes estimated the Vikings QB's earnings at $60.5 million, with $58 million coming from his salary and $2.5 million from his endorsements.

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In March, Cousins signed a two-year, $66 million extension with the Vikings, one that included a $30 million signing bonus. The signal-caller originally signed with the Vikings in 2018 on a three-year, fully-guaranteed $84 million deal that at the time made him the highest-paid player in NFL history.

The Vikings signal-caller has earned over $130 million in his career thus far, according to OverTheCap.

Cousins spent the first six seasons of his career with the Redskins, with three of those years as the team's starter. The quarterback set the franchise's single-season passing yards record in 2016 when he threw for 4,917 yards for Washington. His 29 touchdown passes in 2017 were the second-most by any Redskins quarterback in a single-season.

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